As the finance manager of a small company, I’ve been forced to understand the complexities of a broken healthcare system for about a decade. In that time I’ve seen the rise and fall of the HMO saver, the traditional HAS, and numerous other healthcare ventures rolled out to we the people. Personally, I enjoyed the HSA and actually benefited from it. Unfortunately, because there was not a primary care deductible attached to it, most of the employees hated it.
We’ve been trained to look at copays as a beacon of light in an otherwise dreary forecast of health care options. Most people don’t ever hit their deductible, and they want one rate looking them in the face. Never mind the fact that MRI’s can cost upwards of twenty thousand dollars, as long as the copay is well within the range of a paycheck, we the people are OK.
The health care system is broken. It has been broken. The Affordable Care Act will not and has not made efforts to fix that. There’s a fun little feature in healthcare that has been looming over the heads of the consumer for a long time. It is the role of indifference.
Modern health care was explained to me in one of my economic classes in such simple terms years ago that I’ve never lost sight of it. It was explained in terms of a health care grocery store. If you pay your premium, then every time you visit the grocery story, you pay a copay of $20 or $30 dollars, you can buy and take home anything you want within that visit. No longer does the cost of a procedure come into play. You can go for the more expensive steak, you can buy the premium bread.
What the store is banking on, is the fact that your $300 dollar premium and the $30 copay are going to outweigh what you take home from the store. Unfortunately, because the pharmaceutical companies are now in the ball game, they put ads on television telling you there’s something wrong with you and encourage you to use the grocery on almost a daily basis. This is in turn making the premium in your area go up for those who don’t use the grocery as often as others.
With this scenario, the grocery store is hoping that there are so many visitors to their site that there’s no way they can lose money. We all know this to be untrue if we live in a small sector of the business world. Now, those who work for the city, county and state or some other multinational conglomerate, will tell you they haven’t felt the effects of double digit premium increases year over year for the last decade.
What the ACA was trying to do initially was to provide people like me the premiums available to sustain a palpable living, whilst being able to provide a possible family sustainable health service. In actuality, it has year over year provided more than the fair share of obstacles due to governmental interference, because free capital health insurance has priced the little guy out of the market. Anyone who runs a business with 100 employees or less understands this process.
All of this is very discouraging because if you run a business with at least fifty full-time employees because you’ll have to provide health insurance. Now, instead of trying to be concerned with the bottom line of your product line, you have to make sure that human resources is being controlled, or you’ll be sued by the same employees you’re trying to keep off unemployment. In effect, you’re fighting against the same beast that wants to make sure you fail, so they can cover their bottom line in case you actually do fail.
It’s a no-win situation for small business owners.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com